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Monthly Archives: April 2012

White Wines for Spring – TOWC Notes

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On a gorgeous Cleveland Spring evening, wine lovers gathered at The Olde Wine Cellar for an Ode to Spring, White Wines and Cupcakes on the deck of the wine shop. We were not disappointed with warm weather and a slowly setting sun. So what were we oohing and ahhing over on this beautiful evening with friends and strangers gathered to taste?

Wine and Cupcakes Selection

Brut D’Argent Blanc de Blancs

 Paired with White cake, custard and fresh strawberries with buttercream

How can one resist the urge to begin a tasting on one of the earliest warm days Cleveland has seen by sipping on some sparkling wine? We toasted to a new season with the very affordable and tasty Blac de Blancs from the Jura region on France.

This 100% Chardonnay has light effervescence, slight hints of crisp green apple and pear, a bit of mineral and some touches of buttered brioche at the finish.  Nice value.We paired this with the strawberry custard as a pleasing blend of light fruits. Champagne (or sparking, because even though French, this is not from the Champagne region) blends beautifully with fruits of all kinds. Think strawberry, apple, kiwi, peach… and of course you can easily add in the chocolate!

NV New Age Torrontes  – ArgentinaTorrontes Sauvignon Blanc blend

 Paired with Almond cake with roquefort icing

From one of Argentina’s most famous wineries – Bodega Valentin Bianchi, 90% Torrontes, 10% Sauvignon Blanc.

 Torrontes is the signature wine grape of Argentina. Aromas of fresh flowers and fruit, crisp, yet soft in the finish. Halfway through the fermentation process, the wine is centrifuged (spun) to halt fermentation, creating a slightly sweet, semi-sparkling wine. 9% ABV

The New Age is not your typical Torrontes, so if you are a huge fan, the effervescence may be a little shocking on your palate. That being said, for inexperienced wine drinkers, it is a great way to introduce your palate to a new grape. And if you like sparklings in general, you will probably find this to be a budget friendly one off from your usual bubbly.

Schloss Zell Mosel2007 Mosel Piersporter Michelsberg Kabinett Riesling – Germany

 Paired with Granny Smith Apple cake with Apple Cream Cheese and Caramel

Honestly, this cupcake could have paired with either the bubbly or the riesling. This wine and cupcake together just seemed like grandma’s apple strudel. Piesporter Michelsberg Kabinett is a very crisp moderately light bodied wine reminiscent of granny smith apples. The lively acidity results in a juicy clean palate feel that is ideal for a wide range of foods from cheese and appetizers to shellfish and meat.

There are so many variations on the theme when it comes to Riesling, this is your slightly off dry, slightly more acidity version. And it was a crowd favorite on our Spring evening!

2010 Tortoise Creek Wines Viognier – FranceViognier Tortoise Creek Winery France

Paired with Ginger Cake with Lemon Icing

 This Viognier, “Le Verger” is completely unoaked and therefore bright with lovely aromas of peaches, pears and honeysuckle that lead to a palate that is fresh and crisp but packed with fruit. Viognier can easily be paired with spiced dishes. I love a viognier with a sushi or fish. So I give you ginger and lemon… two of my favorite flavors with those dishes.

Viognier is meant to be consumed young, and typically will lose its perfume as it ages in the bottle, so don’t hold on to this one too long – not that you’d want to – its yummy (that’s a technical term), open it now!

2010 YardDog White Blend – Australia

Yard Dog White Blend South AustraliaPaired with Olive oil and sweet white wine cake with Basil Icing

55% Chardonnay, 18% Gewurztraminer, 15% Sauvignon Blanc, 9% Viognier, and 3% Semillon. from South Eastern Australia.

 This wine is barreled in old oak and stainless steel, so that the oak mellows the edges of the wine, but does not impart huge amounts of oak flavor – and its aged for 2-5 years, depending on the varietal, then blended prior to bottling. This one will cellar for a few years, so be sure to give it some air before sipping.

 The YardDog made me think of fish, pork, chicken… white meat dinners on a summer day. So its paired with a sweetened cake (to balance the semillion and gewurtztriminer – traditionally sweeter wines) with basil icing – one of the herbs commonly used on summer white meat dishes.

2010 Dreaming Tree Chardonnay – CaliforniaDave Matthews Band wine label Chardonnay

 Paired with Fig cupcake with Brie

Steve Reeder partnered with Dave Matthews to create this wine. They wanted to bring the traditional Central Coast flavors of spice and big fruit to their Chardonnay. This wine was aged for 9 months in oak and stainless steel, so you will get American oak on the nose.. which will calm after getting some air.

 At 13.5 % this is not a heavy Chard, nor is it a fruit bomb… this is, with some air, a lovely dinner chardonnay.

 It reminds me of sipping white wine on the deck with fruit and cheese, so I give you fruit and cheese.

If these pairings sound like fun, join us for our next public tasting on April 28 – tickets are available for the East Side tasting at The Wine Spot. Or give me a call, and we can put together a private tasting for your friends, family, company or civic group! 


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WOTW – Did Your Mama Teach You That?

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The Other Guys Wines make Hey Mambo. And they named this one Kinky Pink.

 Right now you are singing Mambo Italiano… so here’s another version of Hey Mambo to get THAT out of your head.

Now, on to Kinky Pink. Because it’s definitely worth talking about.

BottleShot Kinky PinkI opened a bottle of Kinky Pink Rosé on a fine spring day in Cleveland and waited to see what would happen. Their Sultry Red is one of my most recommended chillable reds – I’ve poured it at a number of tastings, including this one in January, so I was interested to see what they do with a Rosé.

The color in the glass is a beautiful pink. Aromas of orange blossom, strawberry and peony. (the winery says wisteria… i didn’t smell it, so maybe my nose has gone old school floral on me)

The Kinky Pink is 98% pinot noir with a splash (2%) of Chardonnay. Pinot Noir rosés can be a bit thin – but this is a medium bodied wine which will hold up nicely with spring and summer dishes.

It starts with tart cherry and clementine and has a pleasing finish of strawberry and lemon. Light chicken dishes, pasta salads, your Sunday ham – all great pairings with this wine.

The good folks at The Other Guys sent me a bottle of their new Rose, as well as a bottle of the Sultry Red, and I’d recommend either of them as great summer sippers!

We’ve made it to the East Side!

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Wine and Cupcakes has become a popular event in Cleveland, and we’ll be at the Wine Spot on April 28, 2012 for the first East Side tasting.

Tuscany Distributors will bring four of their beautiful italian wines – and MissWineOH will be on hand to pair up each wine with a gourmet mini-cupcake chosen specifically for your palate pleasure. As always, A Cookie and a Cupcake in Tremont will be baking our treats.

A white, a rose, and two beautiful reds will be served – each with a morsel of flavor to delight your taste buds. We’ll also have an intermezzo to clear your palate.

We’ll discuss the wine regions of Italy, and get insight on how to pair wine and food. It will be an educational and social event for the connoissuer or wine newbie.

The beautifully appointed Wine Spot will be our venue – with the incredible art from local talent, a superior selection of wine and beer, and some of the most knowledgable wine folks in the area at your service.

This is a formal tasting event which will begin promptly at 7pm and last about 2 hours.

RSVP is required, with payment in advance. Ticket prices include all taxes, fees and gratuity.

Join us for a culinary experience you won’t soon forget!

Eventbrite - East Side Wine and Cupcakes

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